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Summer is almost here, and with it comes the prediction that travel is expected to increase. But before the fun and relaxation of a vacation can begin, many families will find themselves heading to the airport.
If you’re a parent like me, you won’t find yourself casually reading a magazine while you wait at the gate or catching a quick nap on the flight because you’ll be too busy attempting to keep your children quiet, entertained, and safe. Thanks to these seven innovative products, keeping your child safe—and seated—until landing is now easier than ever.
1. A travel harness that helps eliminate stress
Anyone who has ever flown with kids can attest to the stress of trying to get everyone and everything onto the plane without leaving anything or anyone behind. That’s what makes the Kids Fly Safe harness particularly helpful. Branded as being “designed for children old enough to be in their own seats, but too small for the seat belt alone," the travel harness is made for children age 1 to 5, who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds. It keeps children buckled into their seat on the plane much like they would be if they were buckled into their seat in the car.
Tucking nicely into the included travel bag that easily fits into your purse or carry-on, the harness itself weighs only 1 pound, fits airplane seats of all sizes, and takes less than a minute to install. Best of all, the harness is FAA-approved.
2. A seat that fits kids of almost every size and ability
There’s just something about being fully strapped into a car seat that for many kids, makes them aware that they are traveling and need to remain seated. That’s where Tiny Jump’s Strap&Safe- Child Protection Car Seat steps in to fill the void of leaving your full-size car seat at home. Designed with a five-point harness that looks similar to a typical car seat, the seat is lined with breathable cotton and polyester mesh and completed with cushioned straps to keep your child comfortable.
With the added bonus of being available in sizes that fit kids up to age 12, this seat is perfect for families of special needs children who are too old for many of the seats on the market, but still need a little help staying in their seats. Available in eight different colors and FAA-approved, this seat hits the mark on what many families are looking for.
3. A seat that offers full-service travel accommodations
Being safe on an airplane is great, but for many families the next leg of the vacation journey will be traveling by car or taxi. That's why WAYB created the Pico Portable Car Seat which is approved for use both on a plane or in a car. Compact, foldable, and weighing just 8 pounds, it’s designed for children 22 to 50 pounds, and 30 to 45 inches. It features a five-point harness, and is easily installed on an airplane seat using the lap belt, or in a car using the LATCH system.
Made of AreoWing space-grade aluminum alloy that absorbs energy forces in a crash, breathable AstroKnit fabric that is responsibly sourced, and available in five different colors, this high quality product justifies the higher price tag.
4. A product that turns your car seat into a travel seat
Some parents just feel more comfortable when their child is traveling in their own car seat, but it can be a real hassle lugging a full-size seat through the airport. That’s where Britax steps in with their Car Seat Travel Cart. Simple in design but genius in theory, the cart allows you to attach a car seat to it and essentially turn the seat into a stroller.
Made with a durable steel frame and easy-glide wheels, the cart features an adjustable handle to cater to your desired height, fits all Britax convertible seats and harnessed boosters (as well as most other brands), and is fully foldable to fit in nearly all overhead airplane compartments.
5. A seat that will hold your infant for you
Everyone knows that babies travel on airplanes, too, and not all of them travel as lap passengers, which can pose an issue when many of the travel seats on the market are designed for children over 2 years old. Thankfully, the Doona Infant Car Seat is available to save the day.
A combination car seat and stroller system, the Doona Infant Car Seat has a truly innovative design that allows the seat to convert from a stroller in the airport, to an FAA-approved seat on the plane, and then into a car seat with no additional base needed. With a five-point harness, three sided impact protection, EPS energy absorbing foam, and a convenient sunshade, the seat can keep babies as small as 4 pounds or up to 35 pounds safe. Available in five different colors, this seat is sure to be your most stylish travel accessory.
6. A seat that keeps kids safe before the plane even arrives
Oftentimes the airport can be the most chaotic part of traveling, and losing a child while checking bags or getting a boarding pass isn’t unheard of, especially when kids are bored, cranky, and looking for something to do. Lugabug brands itself as a “snug seat for tired feet” and that’s exactly what it is. The hammock-style seat secures itself to almost any rolling suitcase, and allows your child to be securely belted in for a rolling ride to the gate or baggage check.
Weighing just 19 ounces and installing in seconds, the Lugabug is made of durable material that can be folded up when not in use, and truly doesn’t add much to the things you need to carry. It’s such an easy addition to any travel list and could definitely save you from a frantic situation.
7. It’s a suitcase and a bed in one
Although travel can be arduous, JetKids by Stokke Bedbox wants you to remember that this is still part of your vacation so you should relax and enjoy. Part suitcase, part bed, and a whole lot of fun, the JetkKids by Stokke Bedbox is a suitcase your child can ride through the airport, and once on the plane, easily converts into a bed. With a convenient top-opening storage compartment, Bedbox contains a rolled up mattress and room for your child’s personal items.
Sturdy and durable, Bedbox has a cradled seat at the center, foot rests on the side, and shock absorbing swivel wheels so that your child can be pulled through the airport by the parent strap, which doubles as a carry strap when not in use. Once on the plane it only takes five quick steps to convert the box to a bed, so whether you’re flying during nap time or flying all night for international travel, your little one will be well rested and ready for fun once the plane lands.
Fitting any economy-sized airplane seat, Bedbox comes in five different colors, and includes stickers for your child to personalize their box.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Travel car seats for toddlers, babies and kids